This is my HG cleanser and I'm so glad I found it at my local drugstore (SDM). It cost me about $8.00 but that is pretty much the standard price for good quality cleansers. I've been using the Marcelle Aquarelle cleanser for well over a year now and I absolutley love it. It's oil-free, alcohol free and perfume free. It is specifically targeted for oily skin types. It's a very light foaming gel that is water based and does a *beyond* excellent job at removing sunscreen, makeup and dirt/oil. Everytime I use this my skin is never overly dry (gets a bit of a dry effect ONLY during the very cold winter months but every cleanser I have used does this) and my skin perfectly cleansed and just feeling/looking very purified. I use this cleanser twice a day (morning and night) and it seems to be keeping those little red bumps I get on my forehead at bay. My skin always looks fresher and clearer after using this. I would definitley recommend this to anyone with oily, combination, normal or problem prone skin. 5/5!
Moisturizers -Vichy - Bi-White Advanced Whitening Hydrating Fluid
skincarereview 9/1/2008 9:06:00 PM
After having a less than pleasent experience with the Bi White Corrective Care serum, I decided to try out the hydrating fluid from the same line, since I was in need of a moisturizer and it was on sale at Shoppers Drug Mart. I've been using it on and off for about 2 weeks, and I have to admit I really like this. It's quite warm right now, so I don't use it daily but I can imagine in the winter when my dry spots increase I will use it more frequently. It doesn't irritate my skin at all (in fact it seems to calm any redness down especially on my cheeks) or cause any acne (which was my primary problem with the Corrective Care). The texture is like lightweight semi-runny lotion. It doesn't have a matte finish (no silica or anything) but it's lightweight even on my oily skin. I also like the formulation of this product. It is oil-free and it is very gentle. It doesn't have pure L-ascorbic acid in it or licorice extract so it's not as concentrated. Having said that, it probably won't brighten/even out skin as well as the Corrective Care serum. But that doesn't matter, it still has some nice ingredients like orange, lemon and sugar cane extract which are brightening to some degree. The packaging is great too. It's vacuum sealed in a glass bottle. Very hygenic. My only gripe about it, and the reason why it's getting a 4/5 stars from me is that it is very expensive. On sale it cost me around $29.00. That is expensive FOR ME, especially for a moisturizer. I don't know the actual retail price but I am guessing it is quite expensive for a drugstore brand. I also find the fragrance to be too floral. It has the typical 'Bi white fragrance' (if you've used Bi-White products you know what I'm talking about). But other than that, this is a pretty good quality moisturizer. Let's see if it has any brightening abilities - I'll update in about 2 months to see how things go and how it holds up during the fall/winter months when my oily skin becomes more combination. UPDATE (2/13/2009) = Still using this as my main moisturizer and it is doing an awesome job. I absolutley adore this product - it's quite cold up here during Feburary and if I ever need to hydrate my dry patches this is what I reach for. I also see the my skin is becoming more even with this.
This has replaced the Vichy Thermal S UV sunscreen which was discontinued in 2005. The active ingredients as well as the inactive ones have altered quite a bit. The consistency is fairly similar -- both very hydrating. I would not recommend this sunscreen to oily,acne prone or even combination/normal skin types. It provides a surge of moisture, does an excellent job at getting rid of flakies so dry skin types would really enjoy it. I really like the packaging. It comes in a convenient pump with a turquoise cap. The product itself is a slightly thick, greasy on your fingers and contains a fruity fragrance. The reason why I bought this was for my neck. Mind you I purchased this in the winter, I felt my neck needed extra moisture as well as sun protection. To this day, I occasionally use this on my neck. I find it plumps up my skin because of the excellent moisturizing benefits but I do find it a tad bit greasy now that it is warmer. All in all, a good moisturizer/sunscreen for dry skin types. It offers great stable protection (PPD of 13). The active ingredients are: Mexoryl SX 1.5%, Avobenzone 3%, Octocrylene 7% I wouldn't recommend this at all for spring/summer months even on dry skin. It's just too much. Plus the fragrance can be a bit sickening at times.
This is a fantastic treatment for oily skin/acne prone skinned girls that is refreshingly lightweight and does exactly what it is supposed to do - unclog pores! I've been trying to find a good quality BHA product for over a year and have finally settled with the LRP Effaclar K. A saleswoman at SDM told me about it, and I tried a bit on my hand and loved the silky consistency of the fluid and how it rapidly sinks into the skin. It isn't thick at all, but it isn't runny either. A little more than a pea-size is more than enough to cover my whole face. Like most LRP products, it comes in a squeeze tip metal tube to keep the product fresh. Again, a little goes a long way so I assume this product will last me for a long time. I've been using it for a month now and I just made a tiny dent and have 90% of the product left. I usually apply this alone, on days where I know I will be indoors all day long. So I don't apply it everday, probably 2 times a week MAX. I see it as a leave-on treatment. I tried using it everyday and it was too much for my skin (over-exfoliation, especially with using Retin-A 0.01% gel at night). I got a lot of redness on my cheeks and my face stung whenever I applied anything (cleanser, sunscreen etc). I find it does a great job of clearing up blocked pores, especially on my forehead. It zaps the little tiny red dots well too. It didn't completley eliminate this big cystic pimple I got on my cheek but it helped to speed up the recovery. It also makes my skin feel very silky smooth. I rarely have smooth skin, but since I've been using this my cheeks and forehead have evened out in texture. Update (8/29/08) = I have stopped using this as a BHA treatment. I now use PC's BHA 2% Liquid and found that to be much more effective at cleaning up my pores (especially on my nose and forehead). Also the reason why I stopped using it in the first place and decided to try something else was because I found it to be way too greasy for my ultra oily skin. It made me very shiny by mid-day.
Man oh man, I can't even begin to describe how much I dislike this sunscreen. It is an oily/acne prone skintypes worst nightmare. Never has my skin reacted so bad to a skincare product. NEVER AGAIN will I touch this crap. First off let me address this: someone mentioned in their review below that the Hydraphase UV 30 has the consistency of the Olay Complete SPF 30 -- THAT IS FALSE. The LRP Hydraphase UV 30 is about 3x greasier and is heavily fragranced with the most nauseating smell that lingers all day long. Let me get the basics out of the way. The pump bottle design is good. I also liked the fact that it did NOT have avobenzone so I could layer makeup on top without disturbing my protection. On that note, I liked that it had a PPD of 10 and it was stable. BUT the cons GREATLY outweigh the pros. Upon application it feels light on the skin, but appears very shiny (especially on oily skin). The fragrance is disgusting but I decided to tough it out. As the day progressed, my skin got greasier and shinier than ever and the fragrance was just as strong as when I first applied. After a couple of days of using this sunscreen I had clogged pores all over my forehead, cheeks and nose. I got all kinds of acne: whiteheads, cystic bumps the whole nineyards! DO NOT BUY THIS SUNSCREEN if you have sensitive, oily or acneprone skin. The product is way too emollient, the cetyl alcohol base is beyond comedogenic (the same reason people have trouble with Diacneal!) and it just wears very tacky (yes it has a white cast). Pass on this worthless piece of crap. I wasted $30.00 on this -- DON'T make the same mistake as me.
Moisturizers -Aveeno - Positively Radiant Daily Moisturizer SPF 30
skincarereview 3/22/2008 3:06:00 PM
This really does a great job of moisturizing and dealing with flakes (from Retin-A or dryness in general). I love the bottle (very convenient pump dispenser that never gets stuck). The sunscreen factor is actually really good for a US brand sunscreen. It has a PPD of around 10 and is stable with Avobenzone. That is my main gripe about this. I wear makeup (which contains Titanium Dioxide) and as we know from the Skincare Board....uncoated minerals degrade the effectiveness of avobenzone. So I don't feel safe putting makeup on top of this sunscreen. Now I use this one only for my neck and arms. For my face, I found it got really greasy. I have overactive sebum production so I get oily quick. I didn't notice any acne, but I found my skin got ruddier in tone. This is ironic because it promises a more radiant, even toned complexion. I think it was the intense moisturizing effect combined with my skin's natural oil that oxidized on my face. This is an effect that occurs on oily skinned individuals. After cleansing this sunscreen off my skin returns to it's natural color. It just always looks so dull with this. I did not notice the sparkles. They are so faint. Update: I trashed this. It wasn't doing me any good just sitting in my cabinet. I tried it on my arms but left them greasy. Gets a 1 out of 5 for me.
Cleansers -Aveeno - Aveeno Clear Complexion Foaming Cleanser
skincarereview 1/19/2008 10:15:00 PM
Another shoddy product by Aveeno, I'm beginning to wonder if the Ultra Calming Foaming Cleanser is the only half decent product they offer. I went out and decided to pick this one up because I like the Ultra Calming, and it also promises to give "clear, even looking skin" with it's main ingredients being Salicylic Acid 2% and Soy (the whole skin evening aspect). Now I have very oily skin (so oily I can literally just stick an oil-asborbing sheet on my forehead and it can just stick there LOL) so I figured this cleanser would be great at wiping off the oil, dirt, sunscreen and m/u from my day as well as treat any acne. While it did cleanse my skin (I did about 4 pumps just for my face) it did nothing for my acne and it actually over dried my skin and caused some irritation. Overdrying is A VERY RARE notion for me...again my skin is so oily nothing can dry it out but this one came close. I actually started breaking out a bit by the 3rd week or so my skin was getting stripped. Also the packaging of the product blows. The pump dispenser DOES get stuck very often when pushed down, and it always pumps out very uneven amounts of foam. The Aveeno Clear Complexion Foaming cleanser gets a well deserved 2 out 5 stars! Save your money, pass on this one.
Sunscreen -Neutrogena - Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunblock SPF 55
skincarereview 1/17/2008 6:12:00 PM
Believe it or not, I acutally kind of like this. I know a lot of people here have gripes about the balling up effect of Dry Touch SPF 55, but personally I never really had a problem with it. However I DO admit to it being present. I do get tiny little balls around the side but I just flick them off 5 minutes later when everything is dried. I wouldn't call this a fancy sunscreen by any means - it's in a tacky package, it comes out thick but it works great on oily skin IMO. I have SUPER SUPER oily, acne prone skin and I found the silica in this one (absorbs excess oil) to actually really cut down the shine I would normally get with a chemical sunscreen. I wouldn't say this is the best, but it certainly isn't the worst. I like how it has a PPD of around 15-19 (which is HIGH for a US brand sunscreen). I wouldn't say it's as cosmetically elegant as Hawiian Tropics Oil Free Faces SPF 30 (which is the best US brand sunscreen IMO in term of wearability). So if you can't find the Hawaiian Tropics Oil Free Faces, then opt for this one. It's not bad, it provides great protection against UVA/UVB damage, and the balling effect really isn't that big of deal. It can be managed. UPDATE (02/05/08): No longer using this, I JUST recently learned that avobenzone destabilizes when layered with uncoated minerals (titanium dioxide etc) and my powder m/u has this. So, no no for me, but I do wear it on my arms.
Treatments -Vichy - Bi-White Advanced Intensive Whitening Corrective Care
skincarereview 1/17/2008 4:37:00 PM
I was really disappointed with the Vichy Bi-White Corrective Care (a patented combo of Licorice, Procystein, and L-ascorbic acid). I had high hopes and heard some good things about it from the saleswoman at Shoppers Drug Mart...but quickly after I purchased it -- I realized the product is a nightmare for oily, acne prone skin. There were many problems with this product which I will discuss. Problem #1: The packaging of the product is very faulty IMO. It comes in a squeeze out 30mL metal tube which is supposed to prevent the Vitamin C from oxidizing prematurely. I noticed with each passing week (I used the product for 4 weeks even though during these weeks my skin became horrendous, I just kept on going with it) the color of the serum was slightly going darker (the C was oxidizing!). I believe it is everytime you squeeze out the serum, air gets locked up in tube (again very tacky packaging). Also after squeezing so much out, the tube gets dents all over it, and by the 4th week there was a tiny hole at the top (now the product was USELESS. The Vitamin C oxidized COMPLETLEY (all brown) in less than 24 hours. Very wasteful. Problem #2: The ingredients are VERY comedogenic for sensitive, oily, acne prone skin types. It is NOT oil-free, and I found my pores becoming so congested I could *feel* my skin trying to gasp for air. It was awful! You would think Vichy would try eliminating the oil aspect of it, and try to reformulate it for ALL SKIN TYPEs (as it mentions on the site). Problem # 3: The fragrance was disgusting. I am not one to complain about something petty like fragrance but it turned me off, and by the 4th week (after so much frustration) I got sickened by it. So my final verdict? I would say pass on this tacky product. The active ingredients itself are great, I did see some mild brightening and a light acne mark faded a bit, but the compromise was my skin's condition and texture (which took a beating from Bi-White). That is why this product gets 2 stars from me, the brightening is there (mild though) it has way too many problems to use for oily, acne prone skin.
Treatments -Avene - Diacneal Acne Treatment [DISCONTINUED]
skincarereview 11/21/2007 5:03:00 PM
I've been using Avene Diacneal for the past 2 months, and I feel that is a good amount of time to shape a solid opinion on it. First let me go into the packaging/design of the product which is actually very nice. It comes in a squeeze tube, the product itself is a cream-gel-like consistency (more gel than a cream). It is slightly fragranced but nothing overwhelming. The tube lasts for a long time, its been 2 months on my face and my neck and I still have enough for 3 more weeks! Talk about economical! Onto the results, and its effectiveness. The product does a great job of exfoliating my skin - I can tell in the morning my skin is brighter and slightly clearer each passing day. It DOES treat acne to an extent, it doesn't do anything for my clogged pores which is really unfortunate and this is why it gets a 4/5. It does treat the redness and the pimples themselves, it clears them up in about 2-3 days. Obviously not as good as an rx retinoid but nonetheless it zaps zits and makes skin super smooth. In terms of skin evening/brightening and mark fading I am slowly seeing results. I had a spot on my left cheek for about 2 years and it went from a dull purple into a light light beige. It's definitley fading. I find it does provide radiance as well, but again not as well as an rx retinoid would. Also the first few weeks I DID purge. Its not as bad as you'd think - it was a few tiny pimples in my t-zone and a huge mother-load cystic one (LOL!) on my chin. I found my skin was really oily in the morning in the purging period. Now I find, avene diacneal HAS reduced sebum production in my skin. It is very evident, I even get dry spots now (I have SUPER oily skin and that is a rarity for me). My skin still gets oily, but not nearly as much as it did when I wasn't on diacneal. All in all, Diacneal is a good product. It DOES help treat acne, and it isn't as irritating as Retin-A or Tazorac. It's great for retinoid beginners and I do find its great for exfoliating and and giving a slight glow.
Finally! A non-greasy sunscreen that is *actually* cosmetically elegant on very oily, acne prone skin! I have been using it all summer long on my face, and I absolutley love it. It comes in a 40ml tube (quite small, that is why I only use it on my face. I use a seperate sunscreen (Neutrogena Dry Touch SPF 55) for my neck and arms). It lasts for a long time, I bought it in April and the bottle is still quite heavy (there's still quite a bit left). I bought it at Shoppers Drug Mart for $25.00. Quite expensive, but it is WORTH every penny. Firstly, what I love so much about this is the consistency. It is a fluid. Not a thick cream, or slippery, sticky gel -- but a fluid that sinks right into your skin. You have to shake the bottle a bit before using, when it comes it, it drips out rapidly and can dry out on your hands so apply right away. Upon application, it smooths over my skin perfectly. It doesn't make me greasy AT ALL. It is a matte sunscreen (and this is no lie). I believe it's the small alcohol content in it that dries it up beautifully and primes my face. It has no sunscreen fragrance, no whitening cast and has great STABLE protection (contains Mexoryl), SPF 20 with a PPD of 8. It is enough for me, and besides fall and winter is coming so it is a perfect segway into the months wear I won't be under the sun all day. UPDATE (04/15/08): Just started using this again since my skin has built tolerance to my Retin-A gel and I am no longer peeling like a snake. This wears gorgeously on my skin during this time of the year. I am suprised my skin is still matte even after 4-5 hours. My skin is looking very even with this! I will continue to use this on my face even during the summer months for everyday wear. A PPD of 8 is fine if you are just going to and from work (or your car). When I got biking/mountain climbing or camping I'll be sure to pack my LRP Anthellios SPF 40 but for now this one is working like a charm.
Moisturizers -Neutrogena - Healthy Skin Anti Wrinkle Anti Blemish Cream
skincarereview 8/12/2007 7:27:00 PM
I use the Canadian version, which is exactly the same however it is called "Anti Wrinkle for Acne Prone Skin" instead of 'Anti-Blemish'. I bought this, thinking that I could kill two birds with one stone. Getting the pore clearing abilities of BHA and the anti-aging abilities of retinol. Boy was I wrong! I bought it for $13.00 at Shoppers Drug Mart. It comes in squeeze out metal tube, which I actually like as it keeps the product fresh and doesn't have the messy quality of a jar. HOWEVER, at the same time the product itself is terrible! It is the consistency of a loosely whipped cream (still quite heavy IMO for oily/acne prone skin). Upon application, it does not sting nor does it hydrate. Throughout the 2 weeks I used it, my acne was not benefited at all. My pores actually became clogged because of the product itself (perhaps it's the base of the product that is so comedogenic). I saw no brightening, no nothing. It just seemed to be a waste of money. Worst of all, during my final days of using this, I developed a rash on my neck. I can firmly say it was because of this worthless product. All in all, there is NO reason to purchase this junk. There is simply not enough BHA or retinol to reap both of those ingredients' benefits. I find the base of the product to be too heavy for my skin, and the allergic reaction it gave my skin was more than enough for me to throw this in the trash!
Cleansers -Neutrogena - Rapid Clear Oil-Control Foaming Cleanser- New
skincarereview 8/12/2007 7:19:00 PM
I have very oily, acne prone skin and the Neutrogena Rapid Clear cleanser not only worsened my existing acne but stripped my skin of all it's moisture (ruptured the precious moisture barrier) and caused my skin to compensate more oil, while feel itchy and raw. It's key ingredient is Beeswax, which gives the cleanser a toothpaste-esque quality. It's very thick in texture, and feels rich when you later. It definitley IS NOT for oily/acne prone individuals as it has NO pore cleansing abilities and it is VERY harsh (makes pimples more inflammed, makes surrounding skin become flaky and red). The Neutrogena Rapid Clear Oil Removing Cleanser is possibly one of the worst drugstore cleansers out there. I wouldn't recommend to ANY skintype. The only half decent thing about it is that it removes sunscreen/makeup easily. Other than that, DO NOT buy this. Save your money!